Saturday, March 11, 2006

Stark County ORTA trustee physically assaults CORE member distributing campaign flyers

From Tom Curtis, March 10, 2006 (Letter to ORTA leadership)
ORTA Leadership,
On March 10th, 2006, at approximately 1:45-2:00 pm I was physically and verbally assaulted by ORTA Trustee Wes Hisey of Stark County, as people were leaving the meeting place of the SCRTA.
As a life member of ORTA and SCRTA, I do not take this matter lightly. I am calling for the immediate suspension of Wes Hisey from his position and membership in both ORTA and the Stark County RTA until this matter is settled. He should be told he is not permitted to attend any Stark County RTA meeting until this has been sorted out. This is not the first time this man has assaulted me, but it will be the last. When I attend the next SCRTA meeting, if he is present, I will make this situation public to the entire group.
I would like copy of any section of the language in the ORTA constitution, by-laws and governance's, or any other documentation ORTA is governed by that pertains to this issue. I would like to know what steps are mandated for handling such a situation. I also would like to know if ORTA would provide or assist in legal representation for me, if needed.
Further, if this method of filing a complaint does not meet the guidelines of ORTA, then please explain what steps are necessary for me to file a formal complaint against Wes Hisey. I will fax a signed copy of this complaint to ORTA and I will mail a copy of such to the SCRTA president, Barbara Bartchy.
After the SCRTA meeting had concluded and people were leaving the meeting place, I was standing inside a set of exit doors asking the members leaving, if they would like some information about two of the five active candidates running for the STRS board this April.
Wes Hisey walked up to me, placed his left hand on my right chest near my shoulder and applied enough pressure on me to push me backwards. As he did this he put his face in front of mine and asked me, if I was explaining to these people that they could not vote for these people and asked me why I was passing these (candidate flyers) out. I asked him to take his hand off of my chest, which he failed to do. Since he was pushing me backwards, I put my hand on his shoulder to hold him back. He immediately objected to me touching him. I responded that he needed to stop pushing me backwards. He then removed his hand, but continued to verbally abuse me for more then 10 minutes.
During this time, those members leaving by that door were experiencing this upheaval. One person came to my defense and told him he was wanted back in the meeting room. But he ignored them. No other person offered any assistance to me. John Shearer (past ORTA Trustee) and his wife had traveled to the meeting with Wes and his wife. For the end portion of this escapade, these three people experienced this situation, as well, but said nothing.
I continually asked him to leave me alone and he asked me what I was going to do about it. He told me he was not afraid of me and was attempting to start a fight.
I have recently had both hips replaced and I had no intention of falling or getting into a fight with this man. I walked away from him two different times and he came back each time and continued his harassment until nearly everyone had left by another exit, due to this very loud disturbance.
This is disgusting and will undoubtedly have many repercussions for all of our organizations. I will gladly attend any hearing by the ORTA board and will bring legal counsel with me, if not provided by ORTA on my behalf.
In summary, I am asking for immediate action on this matter and desire contact by the ORTA leadership at start of this coming week.
Saturday morning I filed a report of this incident with the Stark Co. Sheriff's Office. I provided them with a written statement and copies of the two candidate flyers I was passing out.
Thomas Curtis
Larry KehresMount Union Collge
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